7th Grader Tomasic Run Away From Katie Caples Field In 17:48

Lake Highland Prep seventh grader Annabella Tomasic became only the fourth runner ever to break 18 minutes at the Katie Caples Invitational winning the 2023 edition of the event by a margin of a full minute over the elite girls field with her 17:48 performance on Saturday at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville.

Only Kelly Parrish from Ocala Vanguard in her 2004 and 2005 victories ran identical winning times of 17:43 performance is the only other runner in meet history to have run faster than the young phenom Tomasic. Parrish went onto qualify for Foot Locker Nationals in both seasons.  Carly McNatt (17:53) in 2018 and Kayley Delay (17:55) in 2016 are the only two others to break 18 minutes in meet history.

Top 10 All-Time 5K Performances At Katie Caples Invite

After finishing second after losing the lead late in her high school cross country racing debut at the Cecil Field Classic (2nd, 18:15), has reeled off three consecutive sub 18 minute victories including getting revenge last week at the Hawks of the Hill Invitational in Clermont on the one runner who dealt her lone defeat in Mackenzie De Lisle of Bishop Verot with a 17:42 victory. Tomasic also won the Winter Springs Invitational in 17:41 over Labor Day weekend. 


The FLYRA middle school state champion and record holder has been a dominant force at the high school level even though she will not graduate until the year 2029. 

The 2A girls classification is ridiculously loaded with arguably 3 of the state's best performers regardless of classification between Tomasic, De Lisle, and Cardinal Mooney's Addison Dempsey. 

Finishing 60 seconds after Tomasic in a strong close for runner-up honors was sub 5 minute miler Lindy White of Ponte Vedra with a time of 18:48 as she was able to chase down Creekside sophomore and 4A state title contender Alyson Johnson (3rd, 18:56) of Creekside, who spent much of the racing chasing Tomasic in the far distance. Another sub 5 minute miler and state champion on the track in Ava Wyant of The Master's Academy finished fourth in 19:05. 

Johnson was the state's fastest freshmen last year including win a pair of state titles in the 4A classification on the track in track at 1600 and 3200 meters to put in perspective how impressive or dominant that Tomasic was on Saturday night. 

A nice breeze for much of the evening made weather conditions fairly decent, but recent rains made the course muddy and soft footing in spots.

Even though Ponte Vedra put 3 runners among the top six places with strong races up front with White, Daisy Ross (5th, 19:08), and Hilaree Vega (6th, 19:15), the 3A state champions from two years ago had to settle for second place in the team standings at the Katie Caples Invitational. 

The host school Bishop Kenny had a much tighter top 5 spread of 53 seconds compared to Ponte Vedra at 2 minutes and 9 seconds to key their team victory on their home course. 

The Kenny girls were champions at the last major meet in the Jacksonville area with their season opening win at Cecil Field and legitimately showing that they could possibly challenge their local private school rival Bolles and their recent dynastic string of state titles in the 2A classification.

Bishop Kenny girls had a scoring top 5 including Tessa Massa (7th, 19:21), Emily Wheldon (8th, 19:24), Alexis Holmes FL (13th, 19:38), Davis Johnson (20th, 20:06), and Stephanie Grden (25th, 20:14) all finishing among the top 25 individually in a very deep field of elite runners from other schools.  

It was a stacked girls' team field as beyond the top two teams in Bishop Kenny and Ponte Vedra was last year's 1A state champions Oak Hall finishing third with 135 points and the two-time defending 4A state champions Buchholz finishing fourth with 143 points. The 4A state runners-up last fall in Braddock traveling up from Miami finished sixth with 197 points, while Niceville another contending squad in the 4A class finished between them in fifth with 176 points.